Between 1963 and 1970 he was arguably THE best shortstop in the American League, and was selected to appear in six all-star games. He even got M.V.P. votes EVERY single year in that span.
You can see why the Mets thought he'd help them, leading to the trade that saw Nolan Ryan heading West.
He also seamlessly moved onto managing right after his career ended. Like, RIGHT AFTER his career ended.
In 1978 he was released by the Pirates on June 1st, and was immediately hired by the California Angels to manage the team, taking over for Dave Garcia, who had them at 25-21. Fregosi did pretty well actually, managing them to a 62-54 record the rest of the way.
In the end he managed up until the 2000 season for the Angels (1978-81), White Sox (1986-88), Phillies (1991-96) and Blue Jays (1999-00), putting together a very respectable baseball career spanning 40 years.
Anyway, for whatever reason, Topps didn't include him in their 1977 set, even though he appeared in 58 games for Texas in 1976 with 133 at-bats. Odd considering they issued cards for guys like Chip Lang, Eric Raich and Tommy Sandt. Not exactly on par with a former perennial all-star and M.V.P. candidate.
So here is my design for the "missing" card. I forget where I got this image from (I created this card a while ago), and wish it was a bit "crisper". But it's good enough. Love the bushy side-burns, '70's style...
|More than just that trade in 1971.|